Lima Central Catholic’s Jaylen Roehm came up big on the mound and at the plate in the clutch to help the Thunderbirds defeat Lima Senior, 7-5, in a crosstown rivalry affair Tuesday.
With the scored tied 5-5 in the top of the sixth, Lima Senior threatened to take the lead. Kya Horton was on third after she smacked a double and moved to third on the throw with one out. LCC head coach Brett Roehm called on Jaylen Roehm to pitch and prevent further damage and she obliged by getting a line drive out and then fanning the next batter to hold the Spartans scoreless.
Roehm then led off the bottom of the frame with a walk and eventually came around to score that turned out to the winning run with the Thunderbirds adding an insurance run in the frame.
Roehm then finished off her clutch outing by setting down the Spartans in order, including striking out two in the top of the seventh, to secure the victory.
At the plate, Roehm finished the game going 2-for-3 with a triple and two runs scored. Other Thunderbirds producing at the plate were Sophia Luchini who went 2 for 3 with two runs scored and an RBI and Kennedy Parker who had a triple and two runs scored and one RBI. Madeline Knotts had two hits and an RBI
“We battled,” Brett Roehm said. “We scored three in the first and then took a little bit of a break and got one in the second and one in the third and here they come. We knew Lima Senior was going to fight back and they weren’t going lay down. Credit to them for plugging away and getting back in the ball game.
“It is a good win and we will take a win any day of the week, We have some things to work on and that is high school softball.”
LCC starter Abby Watkins went fifth and one third innings and gave up eight hits while striking out four and walking none.
Lima Senior starter Dakota Lewis pitched seven innings and gave up 12 hits while fanning none and walking one.
For Lima Senior, head coach Rob Nelson said it was a tough loss and this young squad that features two players with real varsity experience is still learning how to win games.
“That is a common thing for us,” Nelson said. “Because we are so young, we have two girls that have played a varsity game or a jayvee game and we have a bunch of sophomores that didn’t play last year so it is always one inning and for us it was the first inning. But the girls keep battling back and that is all we can ask for.
“This has been the best Lima Senior softball has been in a while and our record may not show it but we have lost four games by five runs so we are in but we need to learn how to win and that will come with time.”
The Spartans, down 4-1 after two innings, rallied to score three runs to knot the score sparked by back-to-back doubles from Tatum Twinning and Tillie Nelson followed by a single from Els Nelson.
Down 5-4, in the going into the fifth, Ti’Ana Spivey blasted a home run to tie the score.
“We practice hitting the ball in the air,” Nelson said. “When you face a really good pitcher like Jay Roehm it’s tough, however, our one through six hitters are really, really good because they practice, they grind and they hit the ball hard.”
The win marks LCC’s fourth straight and Roehm said he feels the team is gaining some momentum.
“That’s win four in a row,” Roehm said. “We got a big win Friday night and come back and got rained out last night which frustrated the girls…but we are heading in the right direction so that is all we can ask for and continue to go in that direction and hopefully put things together to put together a great season. Right now things are looking good.”